November 29 (November 19, o.s.)

New Mexico: Governor Vargas, camped with his men at the abandoned Zuni Pueblo of Halona, decides to move his camp to a location closer to the mesa atop which the people of Halona have relocated.  The expedition will spend the night there and depart for El Paso in the morning.  He therefore orders his commanders to assemble their men and have them pack up their supplies to move them to the new campsite.  They do so.

After the new camp is set up, Antonio Jorge, one of the officers, approaches the governor and tells him that he has met a man from Halona who knows a more direct route from the water hole at El Morro, two days’ travel from Zuni, to the abandoned Pueblo of Senecú on the Rio Grande.  For a suitable price the man is willing to guide the expedition there.  Vargas is excited to hear about this route, which is a significant shortcut compared to the route he and his men took on the way out, not only because it will shorten the return journey but because, if the material he acquired a sample of at Hopi turns out to really contain mercury, this would be a useful route over which to transport it to Mexico.  Jorge says that the man told him that the route has enough water holes that only a day and a night would be spent at locations without water.  This, in addition to the shorter distance, is very appealing to Vargas, who well remembers the paucity of good water holes on the trip up.  He therefore orders Jorge to bring him the man.

When the man, who says his name is Agustín, arrives, Vargas questions him about the route and he verifies the account given by Jorge.  He says it takes about a week.  He notes that the days are short this time of year, meaning that only a short distance can be traveled each day compared to what is possible in the summer.  Vargas asks what he wants as payment for guiding the expedition, and he responds that he only wants two other men from Zuni to accompany him, with horses, buffalo hides, and supplies sufficient for the round-trip journey to be provided for each of the three.  Vargas agrees to this payment and tells him to show up at the camp the next morning and the horses and supplies will be ready for him.  Two Spanish-speaking men from Zuni offer to accompany Agustín, and Vargas is pleased, since he knows and trusts them.

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Published in: on November 29, 2008 at 12:00 am  Comments (1)  

One Comment

  1. […] men at their campsite and prepares them to depart for El Paso.  Agustín, the Zuni man who agreed the previous day to guide the expedition along a shortcut from El Morro to Senecú, shows up as promised with his […]


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